Tenancy reviews

When you move into public (social) housing, you can stay for as long as you qualify. We may review your tenancy from time to time while you're living there.


Due to COVID-19, all tenancy reviews have been put on hold. There’s nothing else you need to do right now.

We do tenancy reviews to see if:

  • you still qualify for public housing
  • the place you’re in still meets your needs.

If we can help people who may be able to move into private housing with the right support, we can free up public housing places for those in greater need.

If you're ready to move into private housing, we can look at what products and services are available to help you. You may be able to get help with bond, rent in advance or other things.

How often your tenancy is reviewed

You may have a tenancy review every 3 years or so, but not if you or your partner either:

  • have children under 18 in your care
  • are 65 or older
  • get Supported Living Payment.

If you’re in one of these groups, we’ll only review your tenancy if your income, assets or other changes mean you may no longer need public housing.

Tenants with lifetime tenure won’t have a tenancy review.

Tenancy review process

A tenancy review may take several months depending on your situation.

  • Step 1 - We'll look carefully at your situation

    First we’ll check the information we have about you and your situation.

    If our information shows you still qualify for public housing and the place you’re in still meets your needs, we’ll send you a letter. It will say we’ve reviewed your tenancy and you can stay where you are.

    If we need to know more, one of our housing case managers will get in touch with you. We’ll ask for more information so we can fully understand your situation and housing needs.

    We’ll also look at things like:

    • how difficult it is to find a private rental that meets your needs
    • could you afford to move
    • if you did move, could you stay long term.

    It’s really important for you to tell your housing case manager about your situation. If we can’t get information from you, we’ll still need to review your tenancy using the details we have.

  • Step 2 - We'll help you look at other options

    While we’re assessing your situation, we can help you look into other housing options – especially if it looks like you may not qualify for public housing.

    We’ll also look at how we can support you, like help with bond, rent or moving costs.

  • Step 3 - We'll let you know the outcome

    Once we’ve assessed your situation and needs, we’ll let you know the outcome.

    Still qualify for public housing

    If you still qualify for public housing, you can stay where you are.

    Still qualify but you need a different sort of place

    If you still qualify, but things have changed and you need a different sort of place, you can stay where you are.

    However, if another place is available that’s better for you, your landlord may be able to offer it to you. For example, you need a place with fewer bedrooms because a family member has moved to their own place. We’ll let them know about that.

    No longer qualify for public housing

    If you no longer qualify for public housing, you can keep working with us to find other housing for at least 3 months – or longer if you genuinely need it. We understand it may take time for some people to find other housing that meets their needs, and we’re here to support you during this time.

    It’s really important you keep in touch with your housing case manager during this time. This is so we know how you’re getting on and what support we can offer you - like help with bond, rent or moving costs. We’ll also need to know if anything changes, in case this means you can stay in public housing.

    At the end of this time, we’ll let your landlord know if you no longer qualify for public housing. Your landlord will get in touch with you to talk about next steps. At this point, they may choose to give you a 90-day notice to move out of the property.

  • Questions or concerns


    If you have any questions about your tenancy review, call your housing case manager. Their number will be in the letter we sent to let you know you’re having a tenancy review.

    If you don’t know the number for your housing case manager, who you call depends on your situation. If you get:

    • a benefit or extra help payments from us, call us on 0800 559 009
    • NZ Super or Veteran's Pension, call Senior Services on 0800 552 002
    • no payments from us or Senior Services, call Housing Unit on 0800 673 468.


    If you don’t agree with our decision about your tenancy review, you can call us. We may be able to explain or fix it over the phone.

    If you still don’t agree, you can ask for it to be reviewed.